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Road to the White House

Series/Special. The candidates, issues and events shaping the presidential race.




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Romney 23, Britain 21, Us 18, Rebecca Wilkins 8, David Cameron 7, United Kingdom 6, Alan Viard 5, Washington 4, Obama 4, Scotland 4, Michael Gove 4, U.s. 3, C-span 3, Rebecca Wilkens 3, Tories 2, One Nation 2, Haverstock 2, Virginia 2, Pennsylvania 2, Texas 2,
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  CSPAN    Road to the White House    Series/Special. The candidates, issues  
   and events shaping the presidential race.  

    October 7, 2012
    9:30 - 11:00pm EDT  

who can make us one nation? who can bring britain together? what about the tories? what about the tories? i didn't hear you, what about the tories? let me explain why, let me explain why. i want to talk very directly to those who voted for david cameron at the last general election. i understand why you voted for him. i understand why you turned away from the last labour government. this government took power in difficult economic times. it was a country still coming to terms with the financial crisis. a financial crisis that has afflicted every country round the world. i understand why you were willing to give david cameron the benefit of the doubt. long think we've had
enough to make a judgment. long enough to make a judgement because they turned a recovery into the longest double dip recession since the war. because there are more people looking for work for longer than at any time since the last time there was a conservative government. and here is the other thing, what about borrowing? borrowing. the thing they said was their number one priority. this year borrowing is rising not falling. let me just say that again. borrowing the thing they said was the most important priority, the reason they were elected. it is rising not falling. not because there hasn't been pain and tax rises and cuts affecting every family in this country. not because they didn't want to cut it borrowing. they did.
not because your services aren't getting worse. they are. but because if you stop an economy growing, then it leaves more people out of work claiming benefits, not paying taxes. businesses struggle so they're not paying taxes. and as a result borrowing goes up. borrowing not to invest in schools, in hospitals, transport and education. but borrowing to keep people idle. so the next time you hear a conservative say to you labour would increase borrowing, just remember it is this government that is increasing borrowing this year. [applause] so what have we seen? we've seen recession, higher unemployment, higher borrowing. i don't think that's what people
were promised. now look there will be some people who say, and this is an important argument, they'll be some people who say, well there is short-term pain but it is worth it for the long-term gain. but i'm afraid the opposite is true. you see that the longer you have low growth in our country the bigger the debt hole becomes for the future and the bigger our problems will be in the future. the longer a young person is out of work that is not just bad for their prospects now; it is bad for their prospects for the whole of the rest of their lives. and if a small business goes under during the recession, it can't just get back up and running again during the recovery. so when david cameron says to you, well let's just carry on as we are and wait for something to turn up. don't believe him. don't believe him.
if the medicine's not working you change the medicine. and friends, i'll tell you what else you change. you change the doctor too. and that is what this country needs to do. now look around you, you know the problem is the british people are paying the price of this government's failure. you're going to the petrol station and not filling up your tank because you can't afford it. your tax credits are being cut because the government says it can't afford it. your frail mum and dad are not getting the care they need because the government says it can't afford it.
but there are some things this government can afford. the wrong things. what do they think at this most difficult economic time is going to get us out of our difficulties? what do they choose as their priority? a tax cut for millionaires. a tax cut for millionaires. next april, david cameron will be writing a check for £40,000 to each and every millionaire in britain. not just for one year. but each and every year. that is more than the average person earns in a whole year.
at the same time as they're imposing a tax on pensioners next april. friends, we, the labour party, the country knows it is wrong. it is wrong what they're doing. it shows their priorities. and here's the worse part. david cameron isn't just writing the checks. he is receiving one. he's going to be getting the millionaire's tax cut. [applause] so next week maybe mr. cameron can tell us how much is he awarding himself in a tax cut? how much is that tax cut he is awarding himself? for a job, i guess he thinks is a job well done. how many of his other cabinet colleagues have checks in the post from the millionaire's tax cut? and how can he justify this unfairness in britain 2012.
and of course let's not forget this tax cut wouldn't be happening without nick clegg and the liberal democrats. isn't it shameful that the party that supported, that implemented the people's budget of 1909, lloyd george's budget, is supporting the millionaire's budget of 2012. so that's the reality in britain today. it is a rebate for the top. it's rip-off for everybody else. it's a recovery for the top. it's a recession for everybody else. this prime minister said, we are all in it together. don't let him ever tell us again we are all in this together. and friends, i say this. you can't be a one nation prime minister if you raise taxes on
ordinary families and cut taxes for millionaires. you can't be a one nation prime minister if all you do is seek to divide the country. divide the country between north and south. public and private. those who can work and those who can't work. and you can't be a one nation prime minister if your chief whip insults the great police officers of our country by calling them plebs. but there is one thing that this government might have claimed to be good at, and that is competence.
because after all, they think they're born to rule. so maybe they'd be good at it. have you ever seen a more incompetent, hopeless, out of touch, u-turning, pledge- breaking, make it up as you go along, back of the envelope, miserable shower than this prime minister and this government?
there's more there's more, not quite disraeli but there is more. what have we had. we've had the caravan tax, we've had the churches tax, we've had the pasty tax, we've had the granny tax, we've had panic at the pumps, we've had dinners for donors, we've had country supers with rebekah brooks. he even rode the horse. he sent the texts, he sent the texts. remember lol. and now what do we have. we have the minister for murdoch becoming the minister for the national health service. we have an international development secretary; she says she doesn't believe in international development. and get this, we've got a party
chairman who writes books about how to beat the recession, under a false name. really, i'm not making this up. i'm really not making this up. i mean i have to say if i was chairman of the conservative party, i'd have a false name too. but here is my favorite one of all. there's one more, here's my favorite one of all. there is even a bloke, and i think they call him lord hill who went to see the prime minister. he made an appointment during the last reshuffle in order to resign. but david cameron was too incompetent to notice that he wanted to resign. so lord hill is still in the government. this lot are so useless they can't even resign properly. so they're not going to build
one nation, so it is up to us. and let me say to you, one nation is not a way of avoiding the difficult decisions, it is a way of making the difficult decisions. and i've just got to be very clear about this and about what we face as the next labour government. you see i think it is incredibly important that to be one nation we must show compassion and support for all those who cannot work. particularly the disabled men and women of our country. but in order to do so, those who can work have a responsibility to do so. we can't leave people languishing out of work, for one year, two years, three
years. we've got a responsibility to help them and they've got a responsibility to take the work that is on offer. to be one nation, we have got to give much greater dignity to our elderly population because you know, we're going to have to tackle the care crisis that faces so many families up and down this country. and look, living longer should be one of the great virtues of the 21st century. but friends, in order to be able to afford to do that, we are going to have to work longer; have a later retirement age than we do now. to be one nation, we have got to live within our means. and because borrowing is getting worse not better, it means there will be many cuts that this government made that we won't be able to reverse even though we would like to. and that's why we've said in
this parliament that we'd put jobs before pay in the public sector. and in the next parliament, we will have tough settlements for the public services and that will make life harder for those who use them and harder for those who work in them. but here is the big difference between a one nation government led by me, and this government. those with the broadest shoulders will always bear the greatest burden. i would never cut taxes for millionaires and raise them on ordinary families. that is wrong, that is not being one nation. and here is the other thing, i will never accept an economy where the gap between rich and poor just grows wider and wider. in one nation, in my faith, inequality matters. it matters to our country.
now what does it mean to the labour party to be one nation? it means we can't go back to old labour. we must be the party of the private sector just as much as the party of the public sector. as much the party of the small business struggling against the odds, as the home help struggling against the cuts. we must be the party of south just as much as the party of the north. and we must be the party as much of the squeezed middle as those in poverty. there is no future for this party as the party of one sectional interest of our
country. but so too it is right to move on from new labour because new labour, despite its great achievements, was too silent about the responsibilities of those at the top, and too timid about the accountability of those with power. in one nation responsibility goes all the way to the top of society. the richest in society have the biggest responsibility to show responsibility to the rest of our country. thei've got news for powerful interests in our country, in one nation no interest, from rupert murdoch to the banks, is too powerful to be held to account.
so we must be a one nation party to become a one nation government, to build a one nation britain. and here's how we are going to take these steps to do that. we need a one nation economy and the first big mission of the next labour government is to sort out our banks. sort them out once and for all. not just to prevent another crisis but to do what hasn't been done in decades. necessary to enable us to pay our way in the world. we need banks that serve the country not a country that serves its banks.
think about alan henderson, the small businessman i talked about earlier on. he wanted to be able to go into his bank, look his high street manager in the eye and know that he was working for him. instead he found a bank more interested in playing the international money markets. that's why he was ripped off. of course, this government promised change, but things aren't really changing. so i have got a message for the banks, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. either you fix it yourselves between now and the election or the next labour government will once and for all ensure that the high street bank is no longer the arm of a casino operation and we will break you up by law.
now look friends, there will be some people who say this is all too radical, let's just carry in as we are. i say we can't carry on as we are. we can't carry on as we are, two nations not one. the banks and the rest of britain. we must have a one nation banking system as part of a one nation economy. next, we need an education system that works for all young people. you see, to be a one nation economy you have got to use all the talents of all of our young people. it's not just that it's socially
right, it is absolutely essential for our economy for the future. i remember when chris and i were at haverstock. i remember at haverstock school, my comprehensive, the kids who were good at passing exams, who were academic, they could go to university and the world would just open up for them like it did for me. but think about all those kids who had talent and ability, great talent and ability. school just didn't offer them enough. it was true twenty five years ago, and it is even more true today. just think in your minds eye about the 14 year old today. today is a school day. think about that 14-year-old, not academic, already bored at school, maybe already starting that process of truanting, of
not going to school. now of course they need to get back to school and their parents need to get them back to school. they can't afford to drift through life with no qualifications and britain can't afford for them to do it either. but we can't just say to that 14-year-old just put in the work, because we have been failing them too. you see for a long time our party has been focused on getting 50% of young people into university. i believe that was right. but now it's time to put our focus on the forgotten 50% who do not go to university. here's the choice that i want to offer to that 14-year-old who is not academic. english and math to 18 because
rigor in the curriculum matters. but courses that engage them and are relevant to them. work experience with employers. and then culminating at the age of 18 with a new gold standard qualification so they know when they are taking that exam they have a gold standard vocational qualification, a new technical baccalaureate. a qualification to be proud of. you know, we've got to change the culture of this country, friends. we can't be a country where vocational qualifications are seen as second class. they are a real route to apprenticeships and jobs. they can be as valuable to our young people as a university degree. we need to make it so.
so we've got to change the culture in this country and there needs to be that real route to apprenticeships but let me tell you though, there is another problem. only one in three large employers in britain actually offers apprenticeships. and if anything, in the public sector the situation is far, far worse. that is about a culture of a country. that's about a culture of a country which hasn't been dealt with for decades. it is the task of the next labour government to do that. so the public sector is going to have to step up to the plate and understand we can't be two nations. we can't be two nations. and when the public sector offers contracts to the private sector the next labour government will ensure that every private sector contract will only be awarded to a large
company that trains the next generation with apprenticeships. because when the public sector is having a contract with a private sector company, it is not just buying goods and services, it must be about building one nation together. public and private sectors joining together to do it. and we need a new deal with british business. you get the money, you get
control of the money for training, as you have long asked for, you set the standards, as you have long asked for. but you have a responsibility to make sure the training happens. in one nation there is no place for free riding. free riding where firms that don't train poach workers from firms that do. now think about this vision of education. education to the age of 18 with proper vocational qualifications, and then think about the vision on offer from the conservatives. michael gove. michael gove, who wanted to bring back two-tier academic exams. i remember what that was like.
o-levels and cses one whole group of young people written off. we are not going back to those days. michael gove who has contempt for vocational qualifications and has abolished some of the best vocational qualifications our country has. and michael gove who has nothing to say about education to 18. so in education there really is a choice of two futures. education for a narrower and narrower elite, with the conservatives.
or a one nation skills system as part of a one nation economy with the next labour government. to be a one nation economy we have to make life just that bit easier for the producers, and that bit harder for the predators. predators and producers, i think one year on people know what i was talking about. you see businesses tell me that the pressure for the fast buck from city investors means they just can't take the long view. they want to plan one year, two years, ten years ahead but they have to publish their accounts in britain every 3 months. in line with the wishes of the best of british business, we will end that rule so companies in britain can take the long term productive view for our country.
companies in britain are far more easily bought and sold than in many other countries. do you know that when a takeover is launched the hedge funds and the speculators can swoop in for a quick profit? they are not acting in the interests of firms or the nation. they are just in it for the fast buck. it is wrong and we will change it. and here is the thing, ladies and gentlemen, i invite british businesses -- work with us in advance of the next labour government. let's refound the rules of the game so we have a one nation business model as part of a one nation economy for our country. [applause] so friends, in banks, in education in the rules of the
game for companies -- one nation gives us an urgent call of change. but one nation is not just about the things we need to change, it is about the things we need to conserve as well. saying that doesn't make me a conservative. our common way of life matters. my vision of one nation is an outward looking country. a country which engages with europe and the rest of the world. i am incredibly proud to be the son of immigrant parents. i am incredibly proud of the multi-ethnic diverse britain which won us the olympic bid. the olympics saw that kind of country here in britain.
but to make that britain work. to make that vision work for our country, immigration must work for all and not just some. and friends, too often in the past we have overlooked those concerns, dismissed them too easily. here is how my approach is going to be different both from the last labour government and this conservative government. you see we need secure management of out borders, we need competent management of the system. but here is the big change, it is about the way our economy works. you see, immigration has really significant economic benefits but not when it is used to undercut workers already here and exploit people coming here.
the last labour government didn't do enough to address these concerns and the tories never will. so the next labour government will crack down on employers who don't pay the minimum wage. we will stop recruitment agencies just saying they are only going to hire people from overseas. and we will end the shady practices, in the construction industry and elsewhere, of gang-masters. so we need a system of immigration that works for the whole country and not just for some. you know there is no more important area of our common life than the united kingdom itself. now one of the four countries, scotland, will be deciding in
the next two years whether to stay or to go. i want to be quite clear about this, scotland could leave the united kingdom. but i believe we would be far worse off as a result. not just in pounds and pence but in the soul of our nation. [applause] you see i don't believe that solidarity stops at the border. i care as much about a young person unemployed in motherwell as i do about a young person unemployed here in manchester. we have common bonds, we have deep bonds with each other. the people of scotland and the people of the rest of the united kingdom. and by the way, if you think
about the people of scotland and the olympic games, they weren't cheering on just the scottish athletes of team gb, they were cheering on all the athletes of team gb. [applause] that's what the snp don't understand. and why would a party that claims to be left o f centre turn its back on the redistribution, the solidarity, the common bonds of the united kingdom? friends, it is up to us. it is up to us, we the labour party must be the people who fight, defend and win the battle for the united kingdom. and after the united kingdom itself there is no more
important area of our common life than the nhs. the magic of the nhs for me is that you don't leave your credit card at the door. the nhs, it's based on a whole different set of values, a whole different set of values that the people of britain love. not values of markets, money and exchange but values of compassion, care and co- operation. that is the magic of the nhs. that is why the british people love the nhs and i'm afraid the tories have shown in government it's something they just don't understand.
remember before the last election, remember those airbrushed posters? i'll protect the nhs with that picture of david cameron. remember those speeches? the three most important letters to me, he said, were n-h-s. it was a solemn contract with the british people. and then what did he do? he came along after the election and proposed a top-down reorganization that nobody voted for, that nobody knew about and nobody wanted. and here's the worst part. when it became unpopular he paused. remember the pause? he said he wanted to listen,
and what happened? the gps said no. the nurses said no. the paediatricians said no. the radiologists said no. the patients said no. and the british people said no. and what did he do? he ploughed on regardless. he broke his solemn contract with the british people, a contract that can never be repaired. [applause] let me tell what i hate about this reorganization. let me tell you what i hate. i hate the waste, i hate the waste of billions of pounds at a time the nhs has its worst settlement, its most difficult settlement for a generation. i hate the fact that there are 5,500 fewer nurses than when
david cameron came to power. think of what he could have done if he hadn't spent billions of pounds on that top-down reorganization and had used the money to employ nurses, rather than sacking them. [applause] but here's what i hate most of all. it's that the whole way they designed this nhs reorganization was based on the model of competition that there was in the privatized utility industry, gas, energy, and water. what does that tell you about these tories? what does that tell you about the way they don't understand the values of the nhs? the nhs isn't like the gas,
electricity, and water industries. the nhs is the pride of britain. the nhs is based on a whole different set of values for our country. friends, it just shows that the old adage is truer now than it ever was -- you just can't trust the tories on the nhs. [applause]
so let me be clear, let me be clear, the next labour government will end the free market experiment, it will put the right principles back at the heart of the nhs and it will repeal the nhs bill. [applause] so friends, this is where i stand. this is who i am. this is what i believe. this is my faith. you know, i was talking to my mum this morning, as you do before a big speech, and she reminded me her mother was born in a small polish village in 09.
i went back to that village with my mum about a decade ago. about 2,000 people live there and it's quite an event having people from england coming over. it feels a long way from that village, and what my parents experienced, to this stage today. you see britain has given my family everything. britain has given my family everything. britain and the spirit, the determination, the courage of the people who rebuilt britain after the second world war. and now the question is asked again -- who in this generation will rebuild britain for the future? who can come up to the task of rebuilding britain? friends, it falls to us, it falls to us, the labour party. as it has fallen to previous generations of labour party
pioneers to leave our country a better place than we found it. never to shrug our shoulders at injustice and say that is the way the world is. to come together, to join together, to work together as a country. it's not some impossible dream. we've heard it, we've seen it, we've felt it. that is my faith. one nation -- a country for all, with everyone playing their part. a britain we rebuild together. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[applause] [applause] [applause] >> see the vice presidential debates this thursday night, live on c-span, c-span radio, and. watch and engage. next, a look at the tax proposals president obama and mitt romney have.
then, q&a from 60 minutes's morley safer. then another chance to hear from -- ed miliband. tomorrow, mitt romney gives a speech on foreign policy at the virginia military institute. live coverage on c-span. >> one of the things i have heard from a number of individuals i have met with is that the fcc sometimes has not much alacrity with the issues pending before the commission or in and doing action on other issues. so i wanted to think of ways the commission could speed up its processes. second, one of the key things the commission can and should do to enable a more dynamic industry is to get more spectrum
into the commercial marketplace. there have been a number of different proposals on the table and i have taken and all of the above approach with respect to spectrum policy. i try to think of different ways the fcc can remove barriers to infrastructure investment. some studies say that for every billion dollars in private sector spends on a fiber-optic cable, 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs could be created. from an employment perspective, our goals should be to remove barriers to enable the private sector to take those risks and make this multibillion-dollar investments. >> the newest republican commissioner of the sec, monday night, "the communicator's," on c-span 2. >> now look at the tax proposals of president obama and republican presidential candidate mitt romney. this is about 45 minutes.
rebecca wilkens joins us from citizens for tax justice and the other guest is the resident scholar at the american enterprise institute. we're here to talk about tax plans. rebecca wilkens -- where are they different on taxes? >> both candidates propose extending the bush tax cuts. governor romney wants to extend all the tax cuts. president obama just wants to extend them for those making less than $250,000. that is a fairly significant difference. that would have a that a $1 trillion cost. romney wants to reduce individual rates by 20% across the board and also reduce the corporate rate down to 25%. president obama proposed reducing them to 20%.
guest: i think that is a fair description. host: we heard that the debate in denver about where romney stands on his tax plan. here is a headline coming to us -- there is little tax clarity from the obama or romney. $5 trillion -- whether or not tax cuts will equal $5 trillion. there is difference over this number. guest: the $5 trillion is the gross cost of reducing trade -- rates by 20% across the board. governor romney made the point in the debate is unfair to call this a $5 trillion tax cut because he intends to offset the cost through base broadening. one thing that was interesting about the debate was that 20% was the proposed amount of reduction, but he did not mention that number in the debate. i think that what he did
emphasize instead was that he was not going to add to the deficit or increase taxes on the middle-class. the study done the tax policy center and others show it is a little difficult to keep those pledges while cutting the rate the full 20%, and that is a decision by governor romney not to mention the 20% #says he is likely to adjust his plan, that he will stick with the idea but a -- of not adding to the deficit and not taxing in a class but will have to change the rate cuts a bet. >> this year would governor romney had to do -- say in his own words. >> i am not looking for a five door trillion tax cut. i said i would not put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. no economist can say mitt romney's tax plan as $5 trillion if i say i will not add to the deficit with my tax plan. number to, i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. you keep saying that, and i know that is popular to say, but that
is not the case. i have five boys -- i am used to people saying something that is not always true but is keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping they will believe it. but that is not the case -- case. i will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income americans. i will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income families. i will lower taxes on middle income families. you cite a study -- there are six other studies that looked at the study described and say it is completely wrong. a study came out today that said you would raise taxes by $3,000 or $4,000 on middle income families. take on this. us your >> guest: what governor romney proposed is raising rates across the board 20%. then he said he will get rid of exclusions and deductions to make that deficit neutral. if you run the numbers, which we
have, take away every single tax break that high-income people get, they still are better off with a rate reduction of 20%. at the rate reduction is worth more to them than all the deductions they get. if he sticks to the 20% reduction, high-income people will see their taxes go down. if you make his plan deficit- neutral, he will have to raise taxes somewhere else. host: let's look at details of mitt romney's plan for individual taxes. he is calling for a permanent across-the-board 20% cut in marginal rates. it includes maintaining the current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains and eliminating taxes on adjusted gross income below $200,000. he would eliminate the six -- estate tax and repeal the alternative -- alternative minimum tax. jump into some of those other
mentions. guest: repealing the alternative minimum tax is something economists across the board would like. it is tricky because of the revenue it brings in, but in principle -- every american has to do their taxes under the regular tax or the alternative minimum, and pay whichever is higher. it does not make any sense to have to bank separate income-tax is. the goal was to take away some of the unjustified loopholes the regular tax system has, but there are a few problems with that. if they really are unjustified, they should be taken out of the regular system, not setting up a regular system of keeping them in the other system. the selection of removing the prisons is not close up what most people would consider to be loopholes. the exemption you get from each child is taken away under the amt, large families are likely to end up under that system.
most people continue -- consider that a loophole. repealing the amt -- almost everyone has supported at least curtail and at. host: what you see as the big picture from the bullet points above the romney plan? guest: romney has said he will not touch the preference of high-income people get, the lower tax rate on capital gains and dividends. that is a huge number. we have estimated that if you repealed that rule, it would raise almost half a trillion dollars over 10 years. that actually could make his plan work, but he has said he will not touch that particular preference. on the alternative minimum tax, i would like to point out, on romney possible return, he paid $675,000 of alternative minimum tax in 2011. he had an effective rate of 14%.
if the amt is repealed, his effective rate would have been less than 10%. host: a story from bloomberg news -- romney is at odds with this $17,000 cap. mitt romney is long on promises and short on details. the nominee pledges to lower taxes on middle income families without giving high earners another tax cut or adding to the u.s. budget deficit. he can do that, he says, by capping the value of tax breaks available to the individual taxpayer. this plan would up and financial planning for millions of middle- class households. up and the financial planning? guest: there would be a dramatic change. whether that is the right way to limit tax preferences can be debated. host: tell us what his cap means. when i go to pay my taxes? guest: it does not pay 70% of
taxpayers, who take the standard deduction. that is still mostly lower and middle-income taxpayers. it would affect those who deduct their charitable contributions, mortgage interest, and state and local taxes. i'm not certain how the romney campaign has labeled it. what it is to say is that there would be a cap, $17,000. during the debate here for to a $25,000 as a possible value -- there is uncertainty there. but you can claim this deduction is up to that amount. if you have deductions over that, it would be gone. for opera-income people, if you have a cap, most of the top 20% of the population, a lot of them would see their deductions capped and would not be able to claim all of them. most people below that would, but not all of them. it would depend on individual circumstances.
someone with a mortgage that was larger and more likely to be affected. host: rebecca wilkens -- there are still details pending about the tax plan. we have not heard of the former governor would balance out all the details. what really to do here? guest: the biggest is what baseline he would use. what exemptions and credits would he get rid of to try to pay for the rate reduction? that is why folks you had a hard time analyzing his plan and figuring out how this affects different people -- there are not enough details to run the numbers. host: is that a fair assessment? guest: >> it is. we are always eager to get more details. i wish governor romney had provided more. i do think there is a step forward talking about this itemized deduction. it is not a full-fledged proposal, and the bodies attached seem to be up in the air. i think the biggest step forward is that governor romney is
rightly acknowledging that to do serious base broadening you cannot just curtail "loopholes'" used by some obscure small group of people. you really do need to find some way to limit the big, popular tax preferences that millions of people use. that is for any plan to work. putting a dollar cap on that, whether that is the right way to go could be questioned. the president to his credit put forward a proposal with a lot of good features. an article last year -- he would limit the tax savings for itemized deductions for people with incomes above $250,000 for couples. even if you are in a bracket higher than 20%, you can only reduce them by 28 cents for every dollar -- 28%, you can only reduce them by 28 cents for every dollar. even if you are in the 35% bracket and normally save 35 cents. that is one way to limit those preferences. there are pros and cons, but in
both cases, both candidates have said it would be beneficial to try to scale back some of these tax preferences. digging into the tax plans of president john, and mitt romney. here are the numbers you can call -- our guestour guests are alan viard andcarl, on our democrats line. caller: good morning, libby. i like to direct this to the gentleman. wednesday night, he talked about his economic policies and i think the gentleman from aei understands. basically he will not lower the
amount that wealthy people will be paying their taxes. they want to eliminate the inheritance tax and the corporate gains taxes. that will lower their rates also. this thing he is trying to do is like a switch and bait talking about widening the base. that's a gimmick to cover-up that they're going to try to make sure that the wealthier keeping all the money they have made over the last 30 years. host: all right, caller. let's direct that to alan viard. guest: i'm not sure statements like "lies" are not constructive for president obama or ronny. the directly do have a benefit
on high-income people, certainly the estate tax. the tax cuts do go to all income groups. romney is proposing to provide reductions through those means. his statements that he would not lower taxes on the rich is, as i understand it, a statement about his base broadening and 20% reduction plan but that component of the proposal would not lower taxes paid by the wealthy. clearly, that's an objective that can be obtained if rate reduction is scaled back from 20%. given that governor romney conspicuously did not mention that number during the debate, there is some degree of flexibility on that.
that's how one interprets what i heard that the debate. host: republican line, mike, from pennsylvania. caller: i've been listening to why don't know how many different people running their jaws. to me, if you ask me, nothing is balanced. the economy is not balanced. they're trying to keep taxes at when a minimum wage was $3.45 per hour. the gas rates have shot up, and we have minimum-wage going up, but everyone is trying to push taxes and that will not balance our economy. we could even go deeper. people to say we should just
borrow more money. nothing is balanced. host: where are you calling from in pennsylvania? caller: near erie. host: let's get a response. guest: it's an issue that neither candidate has addressed. neither one of them has proposed to pay for their tax cut. people really concerned about the deficit and concern about the long-term debt have to be thinking about where we're going to go when the extension of the bush tax cuts will cost about $5 trillion versus obama's plan which does not extend the bush tax cuts for the top 2% and still cost $4 trillion many ad in the debt service costs. no one has proposed a way to pay for those. guest: that's absolutely right. neither can did it as a serious plan to address the long-term
fiscal imbalance and this will need to be addressed. as soon as possible, we do need to adopt legislation that will phase in deficit reduction as we go forward. that will need to include cutting back on entitlement spending and increases in taxes. we do not see that from the candidates. host: off of twitter. let's hear from president obama from wednesday night's debate. [video clip] >> my tax plan has lowered taxes for 98% of families, but i also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. what i want to do is continue the tax rates, the tax cuts we put into place for small businesses and families, but i have said for incomes over $250,000 per year that we should go back to the rates we
had when bill clinton was president creating 23 million new jobs and creating more millionaires to boot. we can not only reduce the deficit, encourage job growth through small businesses that we're able to make the investments that are necessary in indication our energy. host: president obama wednesday night at the first debate. alan viard. guest: there are a few things i would take issue with. the bush tax cut to expire for the high income levels and we would be going back to the rate prevailed under president clinton. that is not quite right. there will be a new tax called the unearned medicare income tax will impose an extra 3.8% on interest, dividends, and capital gains.
that will be 3.8% higher than clinton tax rates. there will also be a medicare tax will increase. i think that 18 numbers right for cutting taxes on small businesses. republicans have made a tactical mistake when they tried to market this on the ground that they are for small business. the goal of the tax cut is to remove distortions in the economy, but when you focus on its specifically being for small business, you leave yourself completely open to the response that they have made. if your goal is to cut taxes, a dog specific, targeted tax cuts for small business. that is what they have done and some of these provisions are
incredibly complex, incredibly narrow. but there are dozens and dozens of on provisions and both parties have supported it. they're ultimately at fault for having made the small business argument when they should be talking about removing distortions throughout the economy. i cannot blame the president responded way he has. institute and our other guest is rebecca wilkins with citizens for tax justice. what is your take on theguest: alan is right. a lot of these provisions make it incredibly complex. to simplify the tax code and we need to stop trying to do so many things in the tax code. a lot of things to be better done in direct spending. a great example is the research and experimentation credit that
everyone thinks is a fabulous idea. president obama has, in his corporate tax free-market, propose to expand that and governor romney has proposed to make it permanent. it's one area that is just ripe for abuse. when you put a special provision in the code, people do all sorts of crazy things to qualify for that special tax break and things that would never get funding as a research project, but people find a way to take a tax break. they take on the amended return. some accountants came in and said, i think you could have qualified for the research credit on this. special sauce. those kinds of things really do not belong in the tax code. host: with you go to find governor romney's tax plan? is it on his website?
guest: i believe it is. the details have not been specified in trying on the terms of base broadening, we only have three clues. he was overheard commenting to supporters that which he would look at the mortgage interest deduction for second homes which is trivial and the state and local tax deduction. the most recent was a cap on the itemize deductions. the other components are making the 2001 tax cuts permanent for everyone and lowering corporate tax rates. i believe that is all on the ronny web site. -- romney website. host: fred joins us on our independent line. caller: when obama said you did not build that, i see his point.
we'll make use of services, roads, protection. i think the trouble was he was a little enthusiastic about it. an audience of small businessmen, it would have been dampened down. after running a small business to pay their taxes, i think it's separation general electric's still does not. -- a shame general electric still does not./ host: rebecca wilkins? guest: citizens for tax justice with our sister organization, we do a study of corporate tax rates and we do that by going through the 10k's they file and we look at what they're reporting to shareholders and paying taxes. 280 of the fortune 500 companies ended up in our study. the one to did not were not
profitable for the three-year period we were looking at. the average rate corporations were paying was only 18.5%, barely half of the statutory rate. 78 companies had at least one that did not pay taxes at all and 30 companies that did not pay taxes in all three years. them. general electric was one of them. collectively, those 30 companies had billions in profits yet they paid no federal income tax. when romney says things like 47% of people don't pay income tax, besides the problems with that remark, there are a lot of corporations and very wealthy people not paying income tax, the irs publishes statistics on income each year and a look at the top 400 taxpayers with the highest income.
six of them in 2009 did not pay any federal income tax. host: go ahead. guest: this highlight some real problems. it is taxed at the stockholder level as well. even where no taxes are being paid by the corporation, taxes still being collected at the stockholder level. nonetheless, there's a problem because you have companies making the same amount of income with different taxes being imposed. corporate taxes are really broken and something needs to be done. most economists would agree that it does not make sense to have a separate tax on corporations. it is the most honest and open to have that income tax at the individual level. there are some challenges on how to do that, to be fair, but that's probably the direction we need to go in. host: richardson, texas, on our
democrats line. caller: i have a comment and a question. which president would you be? would you be the one who tells no lies and save 47% of the people have no rights to be included in the tax conversation? i am one of those people who were the long-term unemployed. unemployed for three years. i'm married with a wife and son. i just graduated from the state program here in texas which was sponsored by the president. i just graduated two weeks ago, ok? four days ago i just got a job. i'm 49. i discarded work about a week
and half ago. -- just started work about a week and a half ago. now i'm working again after three years. the night that i heard mr. romney's comments about the 47% my chair. -- i almost fell out of my chair. i'm going to school every night for almost two years in the hopes of trying to improve my family's life, you know? and obviously that would help the economy. those comments? this is a window into our life. i'm a democrat. i will probably vote for the president, but i like mitt romney. i think he's a good guy. which president would he be? which one would he be? is he going to be the one who
said it's probably not $5 trillion, but it's pretty close? i think rebecca would agree. i think when he flips to people like me coming on my television screen in my living room, i do not know who this man is. now he apologizes for the 47%? the media does not even talk about it. like i said, i think he's a good guy, but on the face, he seems like a clear a liar in the face of the american people. host: let's go to alan viard. does romney have a problem explaining his tax policy and getting clarity on his vision political fray? guest: i think governor romney did say a few days ago that his remarks on the 47% were a mistake and i would agree with
that characterization. the callers experience demonstrates all the struggles you can have that may cause them for some time or another to not be paying taxes for legitimate reasons because of circumstances. i do not agree that the medium has not covered it. they covered those remarks and they did their job. on the $5 trillion, i do not think i would agree and i do not think anyone should agree that the net tax cut would be $5 trillion. the cost will be offset and he seems to now be showing flexibility on whether the 20% number will hold which i did it makes it feasible. host: rebecca wilkins. guest: i've got to talk about a 47%. 47% of americans do not pay taxes. the truth is that everybody pays taxes.
they pay all kinds of taxes. sales, property, state and local, federal. in the most recent year we have numbers for come up 47% of people did not pay federal income taxes, but over half of them paid payroll taxes. if you look at the people who did not pay either federal income or payroll, that's only 18% of the population. 60% of those people are elderly. we give them a break by not taxing their social security and come unless they have a lot of other income as well. if you look at the tax system as a whole, it's basically flat. people in the state of washington, the bottom 20% a 17% while the top only pays about 2%. the federal income-tax system barely makes up for how
regressive other types are. everyone pays taxes. host: on twitter. if you would like to share your opinion, you can write to us @cspanwj. let's look at more details from president obama's plan for individual taxes. he would keep tax rates for people making less than $250,000 for the way they are. raise the top income bracket to 36% and 36.9%. raise taxes on dividends. household over $1 million would pay 30% of income in taxes and raise the estate tax. these numbers are from reuters. rebecca wilkins? guest: governor romney wants to extend all the bush tax cuts,
not just the ones the president wants to extend. he wants to get rid of the estate tax and president obama wants to keep it. he wants to make it a little more robust than it is now and get back to the 2009 rates. neither candidate is really addressing the long-term problem. alan and i have both talked about how much of the extension of the bush tax cut costs. it's enormous. we have not figured out how to pay for them. host: rebecca wilkins is the senior tax policy counsel at citizens for tax justice. alan viard from american enterprise institute. guest: there is a dramatic increase in dividend taxation under the president's proposal. currently it is 15%.
it would go back to ordinary income treatment under the president's proposal. and then a 3.8 percentage which would be a tripling of dividend taxes even though they are paid in income and it has already been taxed at the corporate level. there are a number of reasons that the firm pays taxes, i think that's a big change. the flaw in the president's approach, he is proceeding with the premise that raising taxes on the top 2% will be efficient to close the long term deficit. people who support raising taxes on that group know you have to go past it. paul krugman would support raising taxes at that level, but he knows there has to be more done. we will have to have one increase on top of another undermining to save.
if we do not cut entitlement spending we will continue to face this long term fiscal imbalance. i would be less concerned about raising these rate to two were part of a comprehensive plan that actually did bring down the deficit. the rates were higher, but the budget came into surplus because of a democratic president and republican congress were able to work together. host: pa. on our republicans line. caller: good morning. how are you? i have been here for 55 or 56 years. i was poor, too. the government did not give me
anything to live my life. i had to earn my own. the only way you're going to get ahead in this country is to go out on your own. do not depend on the government because the rich, like me, we will take our money out. host: what do think about the tax plans? caller: for me, i will not be voting for anybody anyway. it does not mean anything to me. it is unnecessary. put a flat tax and get rid of it. host: flat tax. rebecca wilkins. guest: state and local taxes are really regressive. if you also have a regressive for flat tax at the federal
level, lower and middle-income people will be paying a much higher percentage than higher- income people will. host: a question off of twitter. alan viard. guest: the president's individual tax proposals are pretty well detail. the president has been talking about this for four years, corporate tax reform. the details are a bit more lacking there. until february, he really had not spell them a thing out about what he would do to try to lower corporate rates while broadening the base. the framework document he released has some information but only part of it is an actual proposals. the rest of the document are just options. you can fault the president for research and lack of detail on
the corporate side. other individual proposals have been spelled out fairly completely. host: rebecca wilkins. guest: we would agree with that. we like what he said. we like the profits he proposed. we liked some of the big, broad framework. it was really short on details. again, there were some things we do not want to see on the code for certain types of activities. you get people playing all kinds of games to get their preferential treatment. host: from connecticut on our independent color line. caller: i believe romney is playing a game with his tax plan as he announced it in the last debate. he says he's going to cut taxes
on everybody. i'm talking about the wealthy. he is going to cut taxes. then he talks about how he is going to limit deductions. he talked about that very strongly how that would be an offset to it. the to talk about that all he wants, but to me that's a big game. he knows this would never get through congress. you cannot just take it and say that this is the tax plan he's proposing if he is president with republicans having what they have in congress and especially if he is elected that any plan he has to limit deductions for the wealthy would never, ever pass in congress. he's playing games. he's lying to the american people. host: let's get a response from rebecca wilkins.
guest: it's difficult when you talk about getting rid of deductions, exclusions, and credits. there is always a constituency for that. the mortgage interest deduction, for example. not only do homeowners want it but the real-estate lobby will work really hard to keep that in play. if they're going to fight to keep them, it's easy to agree to get this tax expenditures out of the code. guest: many republicans have said that they do want to lower rates and to base broadening. i do not think there's any ideological objection. the real obstacle is that all of these deductions have different constituencies behind them. guest: i think it is a
challenge. as many republicans have said, they do want to lower rates and widen the base. i do not think that there is an ideological objection to it. -- you have to see what you could get adopted. the concern most of us would have would be that he has not had enough detail. but i certainly do not fault him for putting forward what he would like to get done, even if there are political obstacles. host: "the washington post" took a look the other day at the romney plan. they would set the shifting burden on taxpayers. according to a now controversial study by the non-partisan tax policy center, the middle-class would suffer under mitt romney's tax plans. the average tax changes -- how
you would be effected, depending on how much money you make. you can see the changes there. there is also information about closing loopholes to avoid increasing the deficit. romney said he would close loopholes and deductions but is not providing details. the center concluded middle- class families will suffer under romney's principals because the loss of deductions would outweigh the benefits of the tax cuts. for dr. watkins? [laughter] that is true. guest: that is true. even if you eliminate every deduction they get, if you do not also increase the rates from capital gains and dividends they will get an average tax cut of $250,000. if you do not eliminate any deductions, they get an average tax cut of $400,000. it is mathematically not possible. if he sticks with the 20% rate reduction at the top and his comments to make a deficit
neutral, he has to make up the difference somewhere else. >> i think the tax policy center study certainly pinpointed some of the challenges the plan would face. i'm not sure i necessarily agree it would be mathematically impossible because there are assumptions about what is off the table. some of the things could potentially be on the table. i do not know if we need to jump into that, even if it is that barely -- is barely mathematically possible, i think it is not practically possible in terms of something governor romney would propose. the center did not conclude that romney would therefore raise taxes on the middle-class. it simply said he has a choice. he either needs to raise choices -- taxes on the middle-class, theto the deficit, touche cap gains rate, or scale back the rate below -- rate cut by
20%. that seems like a sensible way to modify the proposal. >[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> tomorrow on "washington journal," a look at the campaign in ohio. we speak with a senior fellow at the osu moritz college of law. and jay hollinger and robert hagan, as well as a look at young voters with representatives from the osu college republicans and college of democrats. >> see the vice presidential debates this thursday night, live on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.or. next, q&a with morley safer.
and then, remarks by british labor party leader ed miliband and the debate for the u.s. connecticut senate race. >> on the fifth or sixth day after being in office, we were sitting in the oval office and larry summers, the chief economic adviser said, mr. president, looking at this year's budget -- you are going to have a trillion dollar deficit. he had not done anything yet. >> we cannot keep looking at children in the i know when we are going to give them a diminished future because we are spending their money today. it is a very simple idea. mitt romney and i will bring it to washington. we have got to stop spending money we do not have. we must cut spending. we must get this balanced budget. we must get this debt under control.
>> next thursday night, congressman paul ryan and vice president joe biden will face off in their only debate. from centre etch in danville, ky. you can watch and engage with our live previews starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern followed by the debate at 9:00 p.m. your reaction at 10:30. following are reaction on c- span, c-span radio, and online at >> tomorrow, live coverage of the u.s. senate debate in virginia betwe former governors tim kane and george allen. that begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. followed by the debate in the montana senate race between the incumbent democrat john tester and republican congressman denny reaver. that is tomorrow on c-span. that is tomorrow on c-span. c-span's